Professional sports have moved from the goal of winning ONE championship to the goal of creating a dynasty…a succession of championships. The Yankees throughout the 1900’s, the Packers of the 1960’s, the Edmonton Oilers of the 1980’s…each of those franchises sought championship after championship, because one wasn’t enough.
I shy away from the language of ‘dynasty’ it is the language of power. Successive generations of political/social/economic rule constitute a dynasty. Successive seasons of baseball/football/hockey rule constitute a dynasty. Many see our professional sports as a harmless outlet of our internalized aggressions. In sports we get to demean other human beings. We get to thump our chests when we win and blame the officiating when we lose. It is a dangerous diversion of our attention.
A dangerous diversion of which I wholly support. Clearly, some of our national professional teams need to adjust their team name/mascot in the changing sensitivities of the 21st century. In the early 1990’s while attending Shippensburg University, the leadership of the university quietly changed the mascot from the “Shippensburg Red Raiders”—a Native American reference—to the “Shippensburg Raiders” a yankee clipper themed name and mascot. It wasn’t that hard.
On Sunday, the New England Patriots will play their first football game in twenty years without Tom Brady. I lament. I weep. I wish…There was no greater sight than watching Tom sprint out of the locker room to near end zone…especially if your best friend had season tickets! (BTW: Tom was looking directly into my soul when I took this picture in 2019.)
Dynasties come and go. Some people believe the Patriots dynasty (which won 6 Super Bowls in 20 years) concluded with the departure of Tom. I don’t think so. They have a new dynasty, a new succession, a new lineage. They will have to create their own destiny, their own dynasty, their own succession of winning and losing.
We get to create and choose our own destiny. We are not puppets of theology, politics, or culture. We are not lost ships powerless against the rising tide. Are we creating a dynasty of compassion, tolerance, equality, and mercy? If we’re not, what are we doing? History will judge us. I want these days to be remembered for our passionate love and care for the other. I want these days to be remembered for our conscious decision to love…and to take a step further, to love as God loves us.
God bless Tom on Sunday. I hope he loses. God bless all of us. We need a win.
I love you.
I need you.
I hope for you.
Please be safe.